This past weekend we were invited out to Six Flags Magic Mountain to take in this years Fright Fest. Coming fresh off of a year off the event features two new scare zones, a few new shows and some updates to a few of the mazes that we've come to know and love.
Before we get into Fright Fest though, we've got a quick 2022 Coaster Construction update.
Written by Gregg Condon
Before we get into our Fright Fest Review, we have to start off with our honest assessment of the crowds. Because it played a big part in our overall enjoyment of the event.
For us, the event had crowds that we just were not comfortable with. If you are the LEAST bit concerned or have anxiety about the over-crowding of events or Covid, we unfortunately can't in good conscience recommend this event on a Saturday night.
Because Six Flags Magic Mountain does not close prior to Fright Fest beginning, there's no way to thin out the crowds. So what you get is:
While we experienced some kind of crowds at other Halloween events so far this year, nothing even came close to what we saw at SFMM. And this is still mid-September. We really do want this event to be successful, but it just didn't feel comfortable for us.
It will also be very interesting to see what crowds are like after October 7th when vaccinations/negative tests are required to visit theme parks in LA County.
All that said, there are some truly great things at Fright Fest, and if you aren't bothered by large crowds you will have a great time.
So let's get into the event shall we!
In case you missed it last week, we took at look at the Scare Zones and Merchandise at Fright Fest. So in this update we'll be looking mostly at the mazes, but a few other pics from around the event as well.
The event kicks off with Monsters Unleashed. And we love it!
I have to say, where our maze rankings for Fright Fest ended up was kind of surprising to us, in a good way.
Like all events this year, one issue we did experience at Fright Fest was a lack of actors in the mazes and scare zones.
But everybody gets a pass this year.
It's been tough for everybody to find talent, and we're just happy events are actually happening.
Now in it's 8th year (would be 9 if the event ran last year), Willoughby's Ressurected has addressed some issues we had in years past (lighting) and added some amazing new scenes and effects. It's definitely breathed new life into the maze (pun intended).
Vault 666 Unlocked
The other maze that had the most amount of changes this year was Vault 666. Gone is the "animal experiment theme" and it definitely has more of a "Haunted" feel now. TBH, the name of this maze probably doesn't fit too much any more and is probably due for an update in 2022.
This was the maze we actually saw the most amount of talent in, and they were fantastic!
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising
Easily the largest maze at Fright Fest, this one too suffered from a lack of "scary" talent. There were a LOT of soldiers in here, like a LOT, but not a whole lot of monsters to scare you. I don't really think they need the guards/police in this one, just fill it all with zombies. The entire 2nd half of the maze was completely vacant of talent.
Still, this is an impressive maze and has some of our favorite scenery.
Sewer of Souls
A few years back this was one of our favorite mazes, not just at Fright Fest but at any event. They did move the entrance of the maze this year and change a few other things, but once again, the lack of any scares puts it pretty low on our list. It's still one of the more visually stunning mazes at Fright Fest. And for that we will always visit this one.
Don't want to sound like a broken record here, but I think we saw maybe 3-4 actors in this entire maze. And no Red in the climactic scene. This is another one that was revised a bit for this year (no pre-show) but is definitely in need of a major overhaul or retheme for 2022.
The idea of an abandoned/condemned house maze is something we absolutely love. And there was actually a lot of talent in here, maybe more than any other maze. But this one seems to be overly dark (like Willoughby's had been previously). A couple of lighting tweaks in here could greatly enhance this maze.
We also had a great time in the scare zones on Saturday, despite the crowds, and were able to see some of our favorite monster friends.
So that's it for our review of Fright Fest 2021! The talent this year is amazing, as it is every year. Despite the crowds they are giving it their all, because that's what they do!
If you are visiting this year, we do recommend going on a Friday or Sunday.
Have you visited Fright Fest so far in 2021? Let us know your thoughts below!
This past weekend was the opening night for Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain. So we made our way up in the evening to check out the event a bit. We didn't do any mazes or anything on this visit, but did spend some time in the scare zones and in the stores.
It's fair to say that there is more Fright Fest merchandise available than in any previous year. Do wish it was park specific and not just generic "Six Flags" though. But definitely some cool looking stuff.
Let's head in!
Written by Gregg Condon
There's a lot of great merchandise at this years event too!
They also had a lot of 3rd party shirts that were actually less expensive than you'll find them elsewhere. ESPECIALLY if you have a discount. Worth checking out in the slideshow below.
Happy Friday all, it's time for a quick update from Six Flags Magic Mountain. Lots of progress being made on the 2022 coaster as well as Fright Fest prep.
We'll have an update video for you a little bit later tonight, but wanted to get this update out to you before then. Enjoy!
Written by Gregg Condon
This past Friday night we headed back to Six Flags Magic Mountain for another round of scares at Fright Fest. After an opening night that was well over 100 degrees and packed, it was nice to visit on a Friday Night and have it be in the low 70s and VERY manageable crowds. We definitely recommend it. Let's head in!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Took the good camera, only about 20% of the pics actually turned out which is pretty typical for a Halloween event. =)
And so she walked out of our lives forever ...
(the "Temporary closed" sign was gone as well)
We arrived at the park just in time to take in "Unleashed".
Here they come ...
These 3 pictures show the art of the scare slide. Despite being a bit blurry I love these pics.
(click for larger version)
Where we would spend most of our night, but more on that later.
We first started off with the mazes and Vault 666 which I didn't experience on opening night.
Now in it's 5th (I think) year, this was easily the best year for this maze so far. Other than some of the props and the path, this maze seemed entirely new. Gone is the "animals and human hybrid" theme and it's taken on a whole new life.
Condamned was also really great, it just seems really quiet in there this year for some reason.
I try to get this shot every year, and it never works out.
Red's was fun as always, but would love to see some changes to this one next year. Or an entirely new maze.
Music and stuff happens here
We did both Willoughby's and Sewer of Souls. It's definitely time for another re-theme for Willoughby's. It's still fun and the talent in here is great as always. I'd love to see the Willoughby's story continue, but a fully re-imagined maze is definitely needed here for next year.
Sewer of Souls was great again, we did it once with the 3D and once without. Great both times.
Aftermath, fun as always.
The sign for the Underground is done
Looked like the track for West Coast Racers was completed, no station yet.
One of our absolute favorite scare zones
We also got some more story time with Lorraine Lurane. One of our absolute favorite characters at any Halloween event. Definitely not to be missed.
Headed back in to City Under Siege.
We could seriously just stay here all night and be happy.
Looking for his next victim
No need to fight guys, plenty of teenagers to scare
Did a GIF of all of these shots but wanted to post them individually as well.
For some reason, 99% of the shots I took in Terrortory Twisted didn't turn out.
So long SFMM, until next time.
We're going to make it a point to go later in the evening one night just to see the Slider Show, so stay tuned for that.
Last weekend was also the kick-off of Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain, which happened to fall on one of the hottest days of the year. We also managed to get some construction pics of West Coast Racers and take a ride on the newly reopened Apocalypse.
Let's head in for some fun.
Written by Gregg Condon
Demon's Door, where you can get your mazes passes as well.
I think we saw more maze purchase locations this year than any other year, which is a good thing.
Some West Coast Racers pics and video, the track looks to be mostly done, the station is getting some work and the buildings are getting some nice paint. Hopefully testing will be starting soon.
This video also features some of the updated queue for Apocalypse.
New fence, no lookie for you!!
The Preview Center was also closed
Sadly we didn't know at this time that Apocalypse was open otherwise we would have gotten some pics and video from the other side. Next time!!
Oh, and I know that some people thought we didn't know what we were talking about a few weeks back when we said deconstruction of Green Lantern would begin soon ...
This sign has been up here for awhile, but it's funny now. =)
The park set up a nice media reception with snacks, drinks and more.
Time to get unleashed
It was CROWDED!!
The coffin challenge was still going strong, despite the heat
Apocalypse was back open, it wasn't "2009 good", but it was really good and a definite improvement.
The queue got some nice new upgrades
Aftermath 2 was back, I actually got taken on a different path than I've been on before (as you'll see in the video)
Willoughby's is also back, with a couple of new effects
One of our favorite scare zones at any park.
One tip for visitors: Please don't turn on your phone flashlights in scarezones, especially THIS scare zone. You're ruining it.
CondAmned was back with a slightly different name change.
Sadly towards 10pm I wasn't feeling all that great due to the heat so I ducked out before I got to experience all that the event had to offer. I don't deal well with that kind of heat.
So we will be back, and soon to finish our Fright Fest experience. We hope you enjoyed this first look.
Be sure to head out to the event, you can find all of the info here.